If you are the type of person who loves finding new, creative, inexpensive ways to play with your kids, then I have a feeling you are going to LOVE this new book by Asia Citro, author of the incredible blog Fun at Home with Kids!
150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com is filled with tons of hands-on activities for babies, toddlers, and older kids, too! This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (see full disclosure here)
As soon as I opened this book, the first thing I thought was, These pictures are GORGEOUS! Nearly every page contains colorful, engaging, visually stunning photos of fun activities Asia has done at home with kids. When I showed the book to my 3-year-old, he immediately wanted to sit down with it to look at the pictures. What a great opportunity for kids to be able to peruse and choose what types of screen-free activities they want to do!
So just exactly what types of activities are included in this book?
Play recipes for:
- Small Worlds
- Simple Sensory Activities
- Do-It-Yourself Toys
On each activity title page, Asia lists what types of allergies or sensitivities the activity is safe for (such as being free of gluten, dairy, dye, corn, nuts/nut products, eggs, soy), as well as whether it is a taste-safe activity for kids who like to put things in their mouths. So helpful. She also shares how much prep time is involved, what age range each activity is good for, tips for troubleshooting and extending play, and variations of the activity you can try (such as different scents, colors, or ingredients to try). Your kids seriously cannot be bored with the ridiculous number of play ideas featured in this book!
In addition to tons of kid-friendly play ideas, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids also contains an introductory chapter about how to use the book, plus appendices that outline scientific explanations behind many of the activities (like the awesome glow-in-the-dark ones), where to find supplies listed in the book, and additional resources. Asia even included an index in the back of the book that outlines where in the book you can find every single supply and activity, listed alphabetically. Super user-friendly!
I love how, in the intro chapter, Asia describes basic supplies you need in order to get started, provides suggestions for baby’s first sensory play experiences, shares tips for introducing sensory play to little ones who put things in their mouths, explains how to manage messy play in your house, and shows ideas for how to extend play to make it more interesting and educational for your kids!
As an occupational therapist, I love everything about this book. 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids encourages hands-on play, sensory exploration, imaginative play, and outside-of-the-box thinking. It provides opportunities for kids and parents to try something new…TOGETHER.
The sensory play activities in this book are good for sensory seekers as well as for kids who are sensitive to or hesitant about new sensory play experiences. The kids who seek tactile (touch) and proprioceptive (squishing and squeezing) input will love activities such as colored rice, soap foam, dirt and worms, gak dough, foam dough, moon dough, flax goo and more! And the kids who shy away from these activities can ease into them by watching others model how to engage with them as well as by using tools (instead of their hands) in order to become more comfortable with the idea of interacting with messy substances (as described in my post HERE).
These types of hands-in-the-mess sensory activities can also encourage the development of something called tactile discrimination, which is basically the body’s ability to understand and identify the properties of objects (such as texture, size, shape, and temperature) through the sense of touch. Our sense of tactile discrimination supports the development of fine motor skills. This is why it’s important and actually GOOD for kids to be doing things like digging in the dirt, playing with slime, and searching for hidden toys in a bin of dry rice – all of which are activities included in 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids!
Here’s a sneak-peek at one sensory play activity we’ve tried from the book!
Borax-Free Gak Dough (pages 33-36)
The fine motor activities in this book encourage skills such as hand strengthening, bilateral coordination, and pincer and tripod grasp patterns (both of which are needed for developing the ability to hold a crayon or pencil correctly).
Let me give you a sneak-peek of one of the fine motor activities we have already tried from this book!
Recycled Pulling Toy for Babies and Toddlers (pages 222-223)
Isn’t this clever? What a fun way to reuse an old puffs container while giving little munchkins the chance to practice bilateral coordination (using two hands together) and grasping skills!
Okay, so in case you’re not already convinced about how much fun this book is, here are 5 facts about 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids:
- 120 activities can be completed using items found at a regular grocery store
- There are 72 activities for babies!
- Every sensory recipe/activity has any potential allergens clearly marked (you will find lots of gluten-free and dye-free recipes!) and each recipe is also specially marked if it is taste-safe.
- 50% of the activities have never appeared on the blog – they are brand new!
- Most of the activities were designed to encourage multi-age/sibling play
Okay, one final thought.
You could buy 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids and put together a bucket of play recipe ingredients as part of a special gift for the holiday season. Wouldn’t that be fun?
The book is available worldwide and can be found at the following links:
If you don’t see a link for your country, you can email Asia Citro at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will happily track one down for you.
*I was provided a free copy of this book for review as part of the official book launch. All opinions and praises shared in this post are 100% for real.
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